Cara Nicole (a.k.a. AZ Powergirl) and Her Superheroine Cosplay
facebook.com/AZPowergirl Cara Nicole as AZ Powergirl at one of the many comicons she attends each year.
If you've attended Phoenix Comicon at any point over the past couple years, it's likely you've seen Cara Nicole dressed in costume in the Exhibitor Hall, probably as her best-known alter ego AZ Powergirl.
Frankly, she's pretty hard to miss, even among the crowds of countless cosplayers that regularly attend the four-day event each year, as the statuesque blonde bombshell is fairly unforgettable when wearing the wowie-zowie red, white, and blue ensemble inspired by the DC Universe's Power Girl.
And like Power Girl herself, who -- for those who aren't comics nerds -- is the Kryptonian cousin of Superman, Nicole has numerous talents other than filling out a skin-tight spandex outfit. The cosplayer and comics aficionado is one of the creative forces behind local indie publisher 183 Degree Studio, which she runs with her husband and artist Alfred Trujillo.
Nicole is involved in many parts of the comic-making process, including everything from character design and editing to inking and lettering, and played a part in the creation of 183 Degree Studio's latest titles, Project: Shadows. Well, when she hasn't been jetting off to any of the numerous comics conventions or geek-related events she appears at each year, modeling, or appearing in a few films.
By her own estimation, Nicole's appeared in costume (either as AZ Powergirl or other personas at more than a dozen such cons and events in the last 12 months alone, including a very busy May.
facebook.com/AZPowergirl Cara Nicole as White Phoenix.
Last weekend, she hit the Long Beach Comicon in California. This weekend, it's the Motor City Con in Detroit followed by a trip to Denver for that city's big geekfest. Sandwiched in-between is her hometown event Phoenix Comicon, where Nicole will host or be a part of four different cosplay-related panels and discussions.
Nicole's been doing the costuming thing in earnest since October 2010 and had plenty to say about the subject when Jackalope Ranch interviewed her via telephone recently, including some of her surprising choices of local places to shop for gear and what she had planned for Phoenix Comicon.
She also urges others to heed the call and join the ranks of the superhero-costumed legions and cosplayers to "do some good" or at least have a good time.
What are you wearing to Phoenix Comicon?
I don't know yet, I haven't decided. I've got a few things I'm thinking about. I'll be as other characters too. There's a photo shoot tomorrow so if that goes well and I can get prints I might do a costume I've been working on [called] Steampunky Brewster. I obviously will do Power Girl and I always do Power Girl on Saturday. That's because sometimes what happens is that people don't recognize me if I'm in a different costume, especially when I'm a zombie with excessive makeup. So Saturday is always Power Girl.
Any sort of new costumes or variants that you have planned for Phoenix Comicon?
I think I'm going to do one of my Silver Age suits. I have different concepts. I have the Silver Age suit and for Amazing Arizona [Comicon] I did more of a casual Power Girl with jeans and stuff. And it was actually from a cover of [an] issue one from the '90s, the re-release and a variant. She's got like a jacket and she's opening it up like a Clark Kent thing where you see the shirt underneath. So since I did it Amazing Arizona [Comicon], I don't want to repeat everything. I do have a new Harley Quinn I'm thinking about doing and few other things I don't want to mention just yet.
Is AZ Powergirl your most popular character?
That's what I'm known as, AZ Powergirl. I look like Power Girl, regardless of the costume.
How long have you been doing cosplay?
About two-and-half years. I started out as AZ Powergirl for the Arizona Pop Cultural Experence. I was with their version of the JLA.
What's your alter ego?
I would have to say my alter ego is Cara Nicole and she's a writer. I do everything. I actually have a comic book company [183 Degree Studio] and we just Kickstarted our new book Project: Shadows. And I do additional writing content in that, I do some character design, some editing, and some lettering. I've worked with other creators on characters and write for other comic books as well. Project: Shadows is the one we're really focused on lately, because of our Kickstarter.
Mark Greenawalt/183 Degree Studio Cara Nicole modeling for the locally produced Project: Shadows comic book.